After last year launching an upgrade kit that allowed users of SRAM 1x11 mechanical shifting to use 12-speed cassettes, British company Ratio has designed a conversion kit for 2x11 SRAM systems.
While you might be thinking that a lot of parts would be required for this to work, the upgrade kit simply consists of a replacement stainless steel 3D-printer ratchet for the right-hand shifter to add the extra click that you need, and you’ll also get a new set of jockey wheels for the rear derailleur.
As a result, the kit itself is relatively inexpensive at just £99.50, though you will need to factor in the additional cost of the 12-speed components required: that’s the cassette, a chain and the chainrings. To install that 12-speed SRAM AXS cassette, you’ll need to have a SRAM XD driver freehub body on the wheels that you intend to use.
That little collection does increase the cost of the upgrade by quite a bit, but Ratio has crunched some numbers and reckons that the savings vs upgrading to a SRAM Force AXS groupset are $958 (~£707.50) for a disc brake system and $894 (~£660.20) for rim brake bikes.
As you might have already spotted from the table, there is also a claimed weight saving by using the Ratio kit. This will certainly please the Weight Weenies forum, though we can’t verify the claims.
The upgrade kit can be installed into SRAM’s Red 22, Force 22 and Rival 22 shifters with both the rim brake and disc brake levers being compatible. If you’re thinking that you like the sound of having an extra cog on your cassette then there is a little bit of mechanical work to be done, but Ratio has got you covered with how-to videos.
The only question left is... what is the market for a product such as this? While the industry seems rather keen to push us all onto wireless electronic shifting, there is an abundance of riders that are quite happy with their mechanical shifting, or who can’t justify the huge outlay for gears that go beep-boop.
This system might provide those riders with a way to get the increased gear ranges that 12-speed cassettes offer without splashing out quite as much cash; there’s also the feel of a mechanical drive train to consider. Many riders simply prefer the way that a cable-actuated derailleur works, and with mechanical shifting having been left behind by Shimano and SRAM for the last few years, Ratio’s kit provides an upgrade option to those riders.
We’re busy trying to get the parts together so that we can review the kit.